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Gillingham midfielder Jake Hessenthaler is thriving on the pressure to perform

By Luke Cawdell

Midfielder Jake Hessenthaler insists he is thriving on the pressure to perform.

The 23-year-old played a big part in Gillingham’s equaliser on Saturday against Peterborough and has started the last eight games.

There are plenty of people chasing him for that midfield slot, however, with the likes of Franck Moussa, Navid Nasseri and Scott Wagstaff all wanting action.

Jake Hessenthaler competes against former Gills man Michael Doughty. Picture: Andy Jones
Jake Hessenthaler competes against former Gills man Michael Doughty. Picture: Andy Jones

Hessenthaler said: “We have got a lot of players and if you are playing you have to keep that shirt, if you’re not playing well, you will be out. That is football.

“If you don’t like that pressure you shouldn’t play football, I think when you have that pressure it makes everyone play well.

“I thrive on pressure myself, my own personal pressure and from other players wanting to take my position.”

Boss Steve Lovell praised Hessenthaler’s work-rate on Saturday, particularly after seeing his player jump into the stands to retrieve the ball.

“We huffed and puffed all game, to score so late on was like a victory,” said the midfielder.

“We wanted to bounce back with a win (after losing to Wigan last weekend) but I think it is a very positive result.

“A lot of the boys are showing hard work, that is why we keep going. The manager should always ask for it, every player should do, we are never going to give up in games.

“I had to get the ball, I saw it going into the stands and it was taking (too long to come back) so I went and got it. Tom (Eaves) gave it back to me but I was absolutely knackered.

“We had to get it up there simple as that, it’s why Max went up there and when it dropped to him, when I saw it open up I thought he would score.”

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